Beer Brands That Should be Retired
By Tom Ryan
According to consumers
polled from YouGovPolimetrix, the reputation of four beer brands with considerable
history – Busch, Ice House, Keystone and Milwaukee’s Best – are
so bad that the breweries should consider retiring them.
Index, which tracks 30 beer brands, found none of those four brands have
a single positive score in the ranking based on surveys of men from January
this year through mid-April. The scores are based on satisfaction, quality,
impression, reputation, value and recommendation.
Ted Marzilli, SVP and
global managing director for YouGov, told mediapost.com that the
four brands have ranked at the bottom in the two years the research firm
has been following the category. Keystone and Milwaukee’s Best rate much
lower than Busch and Ice House
Milwaukee’s Best, owned
by Miller Brewing Co. and introduced in 1984 as its budget label, had a
minus-20 ranking. That was followed in ascending order by Keystone, Ice
House and Busch, at minus-10. The industry average in the index is currently
owned by Coors, was introduced as a budget label by Coors in 1989.
Busch, owned by A-B/InBev,
is relatively popular among 50-plus consumers, lower-income consumers and
those in the Midwest, according to Mr. Marzilli. The brand was introduced
in 1955 as a value alternative by Anheuser-Busch.
Icehouse, which Miller
Brewing launched in 1994 and one of the first beers made using the ice-brewing
process, “has a niche among African-Americans and is rated more highly
by women; its selling points are that it is less bitter, and crisper than
others,” said Marzilli.
The top five beers in
the rankings in order were Samuel Adams, Heineken, Guinness, Corona and
Index interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population
sample, constituting some 1.2 million interviews per year.
What criteria should guide when a brand should be retired? Which of the
four potential “retired” brands mentioned – Busch, Ice House,
Keystone and Milwaukee’s Best – is worth saving and why?